Moldova’s Information and Security Service (ISS) has blocked the websites of 31 Russian media outlets.
The list published on the website of the special service includes: TASS, Interfax, RIA FAN, Radio Sputnik, Izvestia, Vedomosti, Argumenty i Fakty, Moskovsky Komsomolets, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Lenta.ru, Rossiyskaya Gazeta and others.
Information in these media outlets is capable of “causing tension or social conflicts” because it comes from “the state authorities of a country that is in a military conflict” or from individuals or legal entities included in international sanctions, the Moldovan security service said.
The resources were also blocked “for actions aimed at destabilizing the constitutional order” in Moldova or for direct “participation in actions threatening the statehood and territorial integrity” of Moldova and Ukraine.
On October 24, the Moldovan Intelligence and Security Service asked the Moldovan authorities to block websites “altering the information space.” These included Russian TV channels RT, NTV, Mir 24, Zvezda, TVC, Spas, Tsargrad, and the websites of VGTRK and Vesti.
In mid-September, Moldovan authorities deported the head of the Russian edition of Sputnik Moldova, Vitalii Denis, from the country. Migration service officials came to his home, put him in a car and took him to the airport with a deportation order on the first flight.
According to Denis, he was banned from entering the country for 10 years, and a copy of the decision characterized him “as a person posing a threat to the national security of the Republic of Moldova”.
Before that, the republic’s Information and Security Service blocked Sputnik on the territory of the country, explaining it by the risk of spreading “disinformation affecting national security”. The Russian embassy condemned Chisinau’s actions, considering the accusations against Sputnik “biased and politicized”.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the goal of blocking Russian media in Moldova to cleanse “the national information space of any inconvenient sources of information” and promised that Moscow would respond to the “openly hostile step towards Russia”.